Shoplifting Stop Leads to Narcotics Bust Instead
Repeat drug felon accompanies friend on mall shoplifting excursion – while holding illicit Oxycodone stash and a sales ledger.
The criminal mind is often devious – but sometimes... eh, not so much.
A man with multiple felony convictions, and out on bail for a pending felony drug charge, made the mistake of hanging too close to a companion who stole a pair of sunglasses at Mayfair Mall – while, police say, he was himself holding a stash of illegal narcotics with a handwritten ledger of recent sales.
Vaughn Caruth Gilmer, 32, of Milwaukee was charged Tuesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of possession of narcotic drugs and one count of felony bail jumping. If convicted, he faces up to 4½ years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
According to police reports and the criminal complaint:
At 4:13 p.m. last Saturday, police were called to the area of Solstice Sunglass Boutique after a reported theft there and were advised that two suspects had gone into Boston Store. Officers were told that the men had been close together when a pair of sunglasses was stolen, and staff was not certain which one had taken them.
The two men split up in Boston Store, but both were spotted and detained separately.
Gilmer's friend was cooperative and admitted stealing the sunglasses, which were returned to the store while he was taken to the Mayfair booking room.
Meanwhile, other officers were stopping Gilmer, and noting that he was wearing what appeared to be a pair of like-new sunglasses. Upon initial questioning, Gilmer became belligerent and began shouting obscenities at police in the crowded store. An officer mentioned that probably 60 people were within sight and earshot of Gilmer's profane tirade.
After he ignored repeated warnings to calm down – and if he had only kept his temper awhile, he probably would have been released without further ado – Gilmer was arrested for disorderly conduct.
He was searched, of course, and officers found a bottle of pills in his pocket. Although the prescription was written to him for 10mg Oxycodone, of which there were several inside, the bottle also held a plastic bag “corner cut” containing 10 20mg Oxycodone tablets not prescribed to him.
There was also a ledger sheet attached to the bottle, reading, “11/20/12 10 pink @ $15 owed = $100 25 Blus @ $20 owed = $500.”
Gilmer was found to have a lengthy criminal record including several felony convictions, among them one in 2007 for intent to deliver cocaine. He also had an open case from September for intent to deliver THC and cocaine, both "second and subsequent offenses."
Conditions of Gilmer's bail included no possession of narcotics without a prescription, so he was arrested for felony bail jumping along with yet another count of narcotics possession, and he was delivered to the County Jail.
Gilmer was lucky at that. Wauwatosa police had wanted a more serious charge of possession with intent to deliver, based on the ledger of what appeared to be recent drug sales. But apparently the district attorney's office did not agree that the ledger constituted sufficient evidence of drug dealing activity and reduced the narcotics charge to simple possession.
Gilmer's friend, on the other hand, got off with a municipal ticket for retail theft, with bail set at $303, and he was released.